Secrets of Question-Based Selling by Thomas Freese is the first book I’ve read to formally focus on the larger sale. Throughout the book, each topic is reiterated which makes it easy to follow along with and grasp the main ideas. The book breaks down large sales into smaller workable portions which then break down even further, sometimes down to specific word choice, making this book a thought-provoking and comprehensive read.
Freese acknowledges that though every sale is different, salespeople can still rework some of the fundamental processes in each sale to obtain more credibility with a given prospect. I even noticed that I do some of what Freese suggests already in the form of asking questions that probe for the prospect’s needs and asking questions with a neutral disposition. This made me feel more comfortable when I encountered a newer concept of leveraging the herd; bringing up recognizable names in the industry who have already purchased your product or service.
“Secret #30: Surrounding your prospects with credible herd sources reduces your risk because you become the messenger and not the message”
Another new concept Freese made a point to break down was his conversational layering method. This layering sets up a solid timeline and objectives to close a sale. I had not previously thought of a sale this way or in this specific order, so it was helpful to get a loose template to follow. Each word on that diagram was expanded upon by suggesting questions you can ask to achieve the desired result.
The book carries with it this theme of action which inspired me, even more, to get into the field of sales and begin trying these methods for myself. Each idea was not just some fluffy, abstract, uncertain concept. The more I read the more I wanted to try my hand. I feel as though this book spoiled me a bit with its formatting as well. Freese leaves these secrets (like the one above) all throughout the book to make memorable, bite-sized, quotes. Also, every chapter has great summaries that address major topics and leave a lasting impression.
I would argue that this book is not just a great model for obtaining and closing with qualified prospects, but a book for daily life. Asking better questions should yield better answers and this book drives me to do just that. I would encourage others to read this book for that reason alone and if you’re also looking to grow as a salesperson you can kill two large birds with one small stone, so to speak.